November 10th, 2008 8:36 AM by Lehel Szucs
This week brings us the release of only three relevant economic reports with only one of them being considered highly important. It is a holiday shortened week with the bond market closing early Monday and remaining closed Tuesday in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.
The first data of the week is September's Goods and Services Trade Balance report Thursday morning. It helps us measure the size of the U.S. trade deficit, but usually is not a major influence on bond trading or mortgage pricing. It does affect the value of the U.S. dollar, which makes U.S. securities more attractive to international investors when the dollar is strong. This is because the securities' proceeds are worth more when sold and converted to the investor's domestic currency. However, its results will not likely directly lead to changes in mortgage rates.
There are two reports scheduled for release Friday. October's Retail Sales report is the first. This report is very important to the financial markets because it measures consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely. If this report reveals weaker than expected sales, the bond market should thrive and mortgage rates will fall. Current forecasts are calling for a drop in sales of approximately 1.2%.
The last of the week's three reports comes late Friday morning when November's preliminary reading of the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment will be released. This index measures consumer confidence, which gives us an indication of consumer willingness to spend. It is expected to show a reading of 57.0, down from October's final reading of 57.6.
There are 10-year Note and 30-year Bond auctions this week, Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Strong or very weak results from these sales could affect the momentum in the bond market and lead to afternoon changes in mortgage rates. It i s common to see pressure in bonds ahead of these sales, but as long as interest from investors is decent we should see those pre-sale losses recovered during afternoon trading of the sale days.
Overall, look for a fairly quiet week in the mortgage market compared to previous weeks unless something totally unexpected transpires. As long as the stock markets remain fairly calm, I am expecting to see mortgage rates follow suit.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.
©Mortgage Commentary 2008